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All the medical progress and innovation from event organizers adds up to an improving but unsteady environment 2021 events. Hybrid events capitalize on the best of both worlds while offering built-in contingency plans. Here’s why:
Appeal to Traditional Participants. For some members of the traditional running community, a virtual race just isn’t a race – so give them a race! For that runner, the first event to provide a race day experience and a real finish line has an advantage securing registrations.
Something for Everyone. Until the vaccine is fully distributed, some portion of your audience will not feel comfortable joining in-person – but will still want to be participate. A virtual option keeps them engaged in the race.
Expand Your Pool of Participants. Just like some runners only want to run in person, it turns out that some runners really love the flexibility of the virtual format. A virtual option allows you to reach people who would never show up on race day – including people who live out of the state. Plus, adding a challenge option expands your participant reach beyond the typical endurance participant.
Flexibility Encourages Registrations. Participants are procrastinators, and the wave of cancellations in the spring has only made them more hesitant. A built-in option to switch to virtual if things change – cases rise in the area, they need to quarantine, etc. – gives people peace of mind. Can’t participate in-person anymore? No problem. Switch to virtual!
Built-In Contingencies. Unlike the spring, when races en masse had to convert to virtual last minute, having a virtual event already set up makes that switch much easier if conditions change last minute. Beyond that, an event that is planned as virtual will have more features for engagement, like digital bibs, RaceJoy Anywhere, participant photo uploads, and virtual results posting – ensuring a high quality virtual experience.
Fundraising Can’t Wait. Nonprofits rely on revenue from fundraising events to complete their missions, and many were drained by cancellations in 2020. However, while registrations fell in 2020, donations on RunSignup | GiveSignup actually increased 63% in Q3 of 2020. Incorporate donations and fundraising into your events – not only can you help support the nonprofit, supporters of the nonprofit will be more likely to support your event.
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